It looks like the UFC’s return to Brazil in August was a fruitful one for Zuffa as Tatame is reporting that reps from the Las Vegas-based promotion are in the South American country working on a deal that could see a season of The Ultimate Fighter filmed in Sao Paulo as well as up to five events in the region in 2012. The group met with the mayor of the city, Gilberto Kassab, yesterday afternoon and today are meeting with the governor Geraldo Alckmin.
UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told the Brazilian combat sport magazine earlier this summer while in Rio for UFC 134 that he was pleasantly surprised with the amount of support they got in the birthplace of the sport and that they were looking at bringing the Octagon back as many as five times next year.
“We underestimated how popular it was here. If we could do it again, we would do it in a big soccer stadium, you know? But when we put the tickets on sale, we really didn’t know. But it’s been amazing the amount of support, it’s unbelievable,” he explained. “We’re working on [bringing TUF here]; we’re really close to get something done. We think it’s gonna be very successful – a Brazilian Ultimate Fighter, all Brazilian fighters. One thing that is great about this country is that you have so many great fighters, finding talents is easy. There are some many good kids”.
The report goes on to state that Cicero Pompeu de Toledo stadium, which is the home of Sao Paulo’s soccer team and has a capacity of 70,000 not including floor seats, is a possible venue for the UFC’s next Brazilian event. The stadium has played host to musical acts like Paul McCartney, U2, Iron Maiden, Shakira, Madonna and Michael Jackson — the last of whom attracted over 100,000 fans to a show in 1993. If an event is held there, there’s a good chance that the UFC’s previous attendance record of 55,000 set in Toronto at UFC 129 in April would likely be shattered.
Fertitta said that they are also eyeing UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo‘s hometown of Manaus as another possible site for a future show.
“We’ve met with the governor of Manaus and they want us to do a fight there. It’s interesting for us, because Jose Aldo is from there, so it’s maybe an opportunity to bring him back to fight in front of his home town”, Fertitta said.